Wednesday, December 9, 2009

reindeer games...

Two of Santa's reindeer have come to town for a pre-holiday visit...and so we took Ryder and Ranen out to Minter Country Gardens yesterday for a visit.

They were quite eager to see them...and made a hasty path through the poinsettia display. It was lunchtime...and the reindeer were taking their lunch break...back of the barn.

We soon learned that it was Dancer and Vixen that were spending time in our town...and they seemed quite used to being the centre of attention. Vixen has appeared in the movie 'Elf'...and so rather likes to have photos taken.

We even learned a few things about reindeer while we were there. Although we have reindeer living in British Columbia (mostly in the Peace River country)...they originated in Siberia in the 1890's...making their way west through Alaska and the Northwest Territories...and to B.C. only in the past twenty years.

We also learned a little about reindeer antlers. Who knew that the young antlers feel like velvet (there was a sample for us to touch)...and with age they become calcified. Reindeer lose their antlers every winter...and come spring, they begin to grow back once again.

Though they are wild animals...these two are halter trained and rather gentle creatures. It was fun to see them close up and personal.

It seemed Santa left his sleigh behind when he dropped off the reindeer...and so these two climbed on board. Ranen picked up Santa's note...just checkin' to see if she had been naughty or nice!

Ryder tried Santa's chair on for size...before we moved along. We have a tradition of visiting Dickens Christmas Village every December... that was our next stop.

It's a fun place for the wee ones...with lots of animated dolls and creatures.

There's an old-fashioned train that runs in circles for our viewing pleasure...and some horses that go riding for a mere twenty-five cents! we know where Santa went when he dropped off his reindeer!

In the far back corner of Dickens Christmas Village...we found none other than the jolly old man himself. Ranen ran right up...jumped onto his lap...and rattled off her Christmas list!

Ryder was a little more timid...and so polite...that Santa surely took note of his one and only request.

This is the twelfth year that Dickens Sweets has hosted the animated Christmas village...and admission to both the village and Santa's workshop is totally free. They gratefully accept donations for the Salvation Army Food Bank and new boxed toys for needy children in the area.

Dickens Sweet's is a 10,000 square foot building that houses a British Museum, a candy shop, a British art gallery, and an English bakery and tea room. It seems the tea room is so popular...that it is taking up more and more space...making it increasingly difficult each year to accommodate the Christmas village. But we are thankful to the management for carrying on the tradition again this's always worth the visit!

And if I ever come back to check out the tea room...I'll ask for this table.

As we were leaving...Santa was on the phone...checking up on his reindeer, no doubt!

Enjoy the day...


  1. What fun! The looks on the little faces - a great way to start the day, reading this post.
    I'll have to find that sweet shop and tea room the next time I'm over your way.
    PS What a wonderful Grandmother you are - all those memories you're helping to build.

  2. This was like a happy good morning post. .I loved it ..smiled the whole way through. I need to find my way over to your end of town to do some reindeer looking too..

  3. This was a fun post to start off the day! What a neat thing to do with your grands, and I'm sure Grammy had fun too! What good pics you got. Dairymary

  4. What a fun day with the grands! makes me wish mine were still little.

  5. I loved the expressions of both grand children. I noticed one was far ahead in the first photo...
    speaking with her hands very expressively.
    Who was more tired last night?
    But you did not tell the whole story...
    We will wait for tomorrow's post.

  6. That is one great looking Santa! What great spots to visit at Christmas. Might have to put a little trip across the border on my list for next year :0)
    Love the reindeer. You treated your little ones Grandly!!

  7. What a fun day this must have been for all of you. It was pure pleasure to read about it and I also enjoyed learning facts I never knew about reindeer. Very interesting.

  8. What a fun Santa village visit for Ranen and Ryder! I would like to see reindeer up close and sit in Santa's sleigh!

    My little one is keeping me busy. It has been too cold to go out so there have been lots of singing songs and playing peek a boo games to keep him busy between naps :-)

  9. That Santa is quite the busy fellow. I don't know how he does it all.

    It looks like a wonderful place to visit. My grandson used to love to watch the animated figures. Now he thinks he is so big. He will be eleven this month. ;-)

  10. absolutely love Dickens; we go every year. was very sad that Minter isn't doing the drive thru Christmas lights this year, will have to head over that way and visit the reindeer

  11. Judy, your grands are adorable. What pretty reindeer. They'll probably always remember that trip. I'll bet it's feeling like Christmas up in Canada. It sure is in Georgia.

  12. Once again, I learned some new facts with my visit here. It is so fascinating to me how these animals were created. I liked the pictures you shared of the reindeer. But, even better than that were the absolutely precious pictures of your grandchildren and Santa Claus. I sat here smiling at their expressions on each picture. The smile broadened when you shared the picture of Santa on the phone. Great post!!!


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson